Some Characteristic Tendencies of American Civilizatio

Josiah Royce

in Race Questions, Provincialism, and Other American Problems

Published by Fordham University Press

Published in print September 2009 | ISBN: 9780823231324
Published online March 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780823235568 | DOI:

Series: American Philosophy

Some Characteristic Tendencies of American Civilizatio

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This chapter was written and given as an address to the Aberdeen Philosophical Society in January 1900. It tackles the issue of provincialism. Royce begins the chapter by noting the different approaches taken by the United Kingdom and the United States to the incorporation of new lands into their unions. The United Kingdom, he observes, used the process of colonization that required establishing local governments on the British model and decentralizing power. The United States, in contrast, used assimilation, which brought new lands and peoples into a strong union with a shared central government. Royce extends his earlier considerations about the character of California to an account of the American character in general. Given the examples Royce offers, including the U.S. Civil War, the chapter suggests that he was considering provincial character in light of its relation to a larger national whole.

Keywords: Aberdeen Philosophical Society; provincialism; American character; United Kingdom; Civil War; colonization; assimilation

Chapter.  10166 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy

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